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$143.49 Raised & Navy 5-Miler Race Report

September 26, 2010

I’ll warn you all now. This is going to be an emotional post. You see, I’ve had such an incredible weekend, I hardly know where to begin … I guess we’ll start with yesterday … By the end of the day, I raised $143.49 outside Road Runner Sports in Falls Church, VA! Thank you so much to the staff there who agreed to let me stand outside and who was super kind and offered me lunch. (Danny and Leslie, you’ll be hearing more from me this week). 🙂

I gave temporary tattoos and cards to all who would take them between 11 AM and 4 PM (I especially made sure to give temp tattoos to all the kids who were picking up race packets with their parents because I can remember being little and getting stuff when I went places with my Mom [like when we went to the bank and I would get a lollipop!]) and it used to be one of the best parts of the day. Anyway, that also reminds me, thank you to the kids who stayed with me outside for a little bit to be my helpers (especially Trinity who might have stayed with me all day!, haha – she was very cute).

Next, if you’re reading this for the first time and you dropped any donation into my Donations canister – THANK YOU! I can’t say it enough that no donation amount is too small. I don’t expect to make it to $26,200 without a little bit of help from a lot of people, so $1 here and $2 there, really adds up. I especially remember all the people who gave me $5(s), $10(s), and $20(s) too – thank you, thank you, thank you!

A big part of all of this effort is my marathon training but I want you all to know that while I’m excited to run the Marathon in December, it is each event, each comment, and each donation leading up to the big day that I know I will never forget. The marathon will come and go in 4.5 hours (maybe 5), but the memories are forever. For example, while I am trying really hard to remember every person who helped me, there is one donation that I received that I know I will never forget and that is $.03 cents from a mute man. I have no idea where this man came from or where he was going, but he stood outside the Road Runners Sports store and watched me for about 10 or 15 minutes. After that time, he approached me; He needed some help, but unfortunately I couldn’t understand him when he was miming and making sounds.  About another 20 minutes later, someone from inside the store came outside and fortunately they were able to help him. I think he was trying to pick up some race materials? Or he needed directions? Anyway, the mute man disappeared and came back about a half hour later with a bike. The second time around, I understood him a little better. He ‘asked’ me to watch his bike and I told him, “No problem.” So I did. He was gone for about 10 minutes, but when he came back to get his bike, he gestured, “Thank you.” Of course, I felt so bad for him and spent a good portion of my time trying to understand how he functions and survives in this world and while all of that was running through my head, he did something I never expected: He reached into his pocket, pulled out all of the money he had (3 pennies) and he put it into my Donations jar! I am still so sincerely touched by his gesture that I feel like I have a forever reminder to be kind to all people, in all situations, at all times, where ever I am in the world. I was a complete stranger to this man, I couldn’t understand him, and yet, he understood me and before he left, he helped me! Needless to say, it was a lasting impression.

Now, getting home and everything in between is kind of boring, so I’m going to fast forward to this morning when the hubby and I left the house with Chuck Norris in tow. Yes, Yes. Chuck was with us. You see, last night, after I took a long nap, I did the post for tomorrow (PS – it’s going to be a good one!) and it gave me an idea: I should RUN THE RACE WITH MY MARATHON OR BUST sign! How crazy is that?!? Or, more importantly, how did I not think of this before? Talk about maximum exposure, surely EVERYONE would see the poster – runners and spectators alike – and as we all know, more exposure = more chances for a donation!

So yes, Chuck was in tow and it worked like a charm because there are several portions of the Navy 5-Miler that are out-and-back, so I don’t think there was one person who didn’t see me, even if they tried. Whether or not I’ll get a donation, who knows? But I can only try my hardest to put the word out there and then it’s up to the people who I don’t know to help me out. Anyway … I was so excited about it last night that I hardly slept, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that I was also terrified this morning of running with a poster that weighed about a pound for 5 Miles. [So yes, if you’re coming to the blog and you were at the race this morning, now you know: I never held a poster before during a race that I was running in and I was really scared my arms would feel like boulders]. Anyway …

Those who weren’t at the race are dieing to know: Did I do it? You bet I did! It was a little drizzly this morning and it was windy (which made the poster mildly unruly), but I held Chuck up for ALL 5 MILES OF THE RACE! I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so physically accomplished in my life. I had a smile on when I was walking around with the poster before race start and I had a smile when the race took off, but it was all a facade and in my head all I kept thinking was, “If Brock and Shon and Anna James (and more!) can go through chemo and medical treatment hell, then surely I can run 5 Miles with a poster.” And I have to say, it wasn’t just the kids of St. Jude’s who inspired me … there were Veterans at the race and people with prostheses or other handicaps. If there was ever a time in my life when I thought to myself, “Don’t you dare complain and don’t stop(!) and keep smiling!” Well, this morning was a culmination of it all.

I told you above this post would be emotional. You see, after everything this weekend … the fund-raising, talking about Marathon or Bust, my husband helping me, complete strangers cheering me and Chuck on, running with Vets who had prostheses and more, there is only one thing I have been thinking and that is this: I am so inspired by the courage, bravery, strength, and physical accomplishments of those with handicaps or by those who are enduring intense medical treatments and I have never been so touched by the generosity and support of complete strangers. If this is what has already happened and it’s only Week 9 of my training, what else is going to come in the next 9 weeks? I don’t know, but I’m very excited and I’m really glad I signed up for this challenge.

PS – there is no picture of Chuck because he’s currently in the trunk of the car and the truth is that the drizzly rain kind of ruined the entire poster. I think I have to make a new one (though it will be based off of the original) and THEN I will post a pic.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 5:15 pm

    way to go girl! i love your creativity! this weekend sounds like a great one along your way…

  2. September 27, 2010 1:24 pm

    WOW!!!!!

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